How do you attract orioles to your yard? Orioles are found in a habitat that can be described as “edge of the woods” in other words, some trees & some open area. They are mostly fruit & insect eaters and can be attracted to feeders with grape jelly and halves of oranges. Sometimes they will eat suet from suet feeders & they have been known to drink hummingbird nectar, although the holes are rather small for their larger beaks. Orioles usually arrive in this area mid to late April. They have already been spotted this year. Male orioles are neon orange & black, females are olive-brown & a yellow orange, a very “faded” image of the male. Females build the nest & incubate the eggs. Males help raise the young. The nests look like pouch made of plant fiber, bark & hair hanging from a drooping branch. They prefer elms, maples, willows & apple trees to nest in but will use others if the branch is right. Orioles are fond of animal hair to line the nest. You can put out cat or dog hair in clean suet cages or nylon net onion bag for them to use. Thanks to Lynn Cummings for the GREAT photos. For more information and to hear the song of the oriole check out All About Birds the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site.
I have been watching birds since a small child when I shared the joy of birdfeeding with my grandparents. In 1988 my passion evolved into Backyard Birds Nature Shop.